(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY   331

in which " liberty, equality and fraternity " would be realized.
But reconstruction proved immensely more difficult than destruc-
tion. As the Revolution went on, the bright hopes for the coming
of the millennium of which it had given promise gradually disap-
peared. First came anarchy within and wars without: then
Napoleon and a military despotism which threatened to overrun
the whole of Europe. In the course of the struggle that ensued,
the forces of reaction everywhere gathered strength, and when
peace returned the old institutions, though somewhat weakened,
were for the most part restored, (a) The sentimental cosmo-
politanism, which had been in favour with most intelligent
people in all countries in the last decades of the Eighteenth
Century was almost completely scotched. Alike in the conquered
lands and in those merely threatened, the triumphant progress
of Napoleon's armies stirred up a fervent patriotism, which gave
a new lease of life to the old national divisions. Nationality,
born anew on the battlefields of Europe, became one of the most
potent factors in the international politics of the new century.
(&) The personal and irresponsible rule of monarchs, which
before the Revolution prevailed everywhere on the Continent,
was restored by the action of the Holy Alliance; and the promises
of constitutional reform which had been made to the peoples in
the time of stress were speedily forgotten. Even in Britain with
its limited monarchy, the power remained in the hands of a
small aristocratic section, unwilling to share its privileges with any
of the inferior classes. For the time, at least, democratic govern-
ment seemed as remote as ever, (c) With the revival of absolutism,
clericalism and all the movements deriving their authority from
tradition, regained some of the power that had been slipping away
from them in, the previous century. The Revolution had shown
by its outcome the insufficiency of reason as the sole director
of human conduct, and non-rational sanctions such as those
based on religion had apparently been vindicated by its failure*
The success of the regressive movement, however^ was only
partial. Even though it made evident unsuspected elements
of value in the older traditions of Church and State which had
been assailed by their revolutionary opponents, it could not
wholly oust the contrary views, because they also had elements
of value. Nationality, for example, had justified itself as against
its critics by the striking capacity to influence social action which